WE were getting a bit impatient waiting for the first nestlings to come into care this year.

We usually have some blackbird chicks by the beginning of April, and often robins and dunnocks too. It seems that birds are later nesting, possibly due to the colder weather that we’ve had recently.

Then three chicks came together. Blackbird chicks, quite well grown and squeezed into their nest which didn’t seem big enough for the nestlings to grow anymore.

People had been watching this nest all day, chasing away cats that were determined to get the young birds, and when they had to leave and the cats were still there, the people decided to take the little family into care.

Of course, young birds are best with their parents. When the youngsters fledge the parents will show them where to find food and will feed for them several days or more after they have left the nest.

It was understandable that these chicks were brought to Hessilhead. It didn’t sound like they had a chance of fledging.

The chicks were chunky when they arrived. Mum and dad had been doing a good job. It wasn’t long before the nestlings were begging for food and eagerly eating mealworms and soaked cat biscuits that we offered with forceps. Forceps look a bit like a parent bird’s beak to a chick.

The chicks have fledged now, they are perching but they still beg for food. Now we must teach them to pick up food for themselves.